How Work-Life Balance, Job Performance and Ethics Connect: Perspectives of Current and Future Accountants

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, 20: 219-238

27 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2016

See all articles by Katherine Taken Smith

Katherine Taken Smith

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-College of Business

Murphy Smith

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-Department of Accounting

Tracy Rebecca Brower

Texas A&M University

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

Prior research has shown that a work environment that facilitates work-life balance not only benefits the personal lives of employees but leads to better job performance and ethical decision-making. Allocation of time between career and personal life is an age-old challenge for working people. Work-life balance refers to the manner in which people distribute time between their jobs and other activities, such as family, personal pursuits, and community involvement. The challenge of attaining work-life balance and keeping money in right perspective is age-old. The wise king of ancient Israel, Solomon, writing about 930 B.C., said, “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). About a millennium later, Jesus of Nazareth warned against devoting one’s life to gaining material wealth above all else: “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Mark 8:36). This study compares the work-life balance perspectives of current and future accountants. Three research questions are examined. The first relates to the importance accountants place on work-life balance. The second concerns how work-life balance perspectives of current practitioners compare to future accountants. The third considers how gender differences affect work-life balance perspectives. Data for analysis was obtained via a survey of current accounting practitioners and of future accountants (students near graduation). Findings indicate that both current and future accountants believe that a healthy work-life balance is connected to work satisfaction, work performance, and ethical decision-making.

Keywords: Work-life balance, ethics, accounting profession

JEL Classification: M10, M14, M4, M54

Suggested Citation

Smith, Katherine Taken and Smith, Murphy and Brower, Tracy Rebecca, How Work-Life Balance, Job Performance and Ethics Connect: Perspectives of Current and Future Accountants (2016). Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, 20: 219-238. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2862475

Katherine Taken Smith

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-College of Business ( email )

6300 Ocean Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
United States

Murphy Smith (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-Department of Accounting ( email )

6300 Ocean Dr
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
United States

Tracy Rebecca Brower

Texas A&M University ( email )

Langford Building A
798 Ross St.
College Station, TX 77843-3137
United States

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